Nine Years of Blogging

Happy 9th Blogaversary to me!

Nine years ago I started this blog, Finding Eliza to tell the story of my family and my search for their stories. I had no idea how much I would learn, nor the connections I would be able to make.

Letters written by my grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage from 1903-1905

This past year has been a very productive one for me and the blog. I discovered that over forty of my paternal grandmother, Pearl Reed Cleage’s letters written from 1903 – 1905 were for sale online. By the time I tracked them down, they were in the Special Collections of the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. I was able to purchase copies of them for a reasonable price and blogged all of them with additional contextualizing materials. A list of those posts is at this link Pearl Reed’s Letters.

Historical Society Long Beach Cemetery Tour 2018 – Zadie Cannon as Amanda Cleage
Photo by Kayte Deioma

I worked with Roxanne Patmore of the Historical Society of Long Beach to find information that would help to tell the story of Amanda Cleage, from the Cleage plantation in Athens, Tennessee. After exchanging information, we finally decided to order Amanda’s and her husband Abram’s Civil War Pension file. There was so much information, so many answers to questions our questions.

It was amazing and led me to order the pension files of all the Cleages who served with the United States Colored Troops. So far I have blogged one of the files completely, that of Katie Cleage and her fight to get her pension. Because it was a contentious case with many people testifying and Katie answering, it gave me a real picture of life on Alexander Cleage’s plantation. Katie Cleage Civil War Pension File. I will be blogging more of those pension files this year.

The paper that caught my attention

While checking through the pension files of other members of the same regiment of the United States Colored Troops that the Cleages were in, I noticed my great grandmother Celia Rice Cleage Sherman’s 2nd husband’s name – W.R. Sherman. Looking more closely, I discovered that this was the file of my great grandmother’s mother’s widow’s pension file. Her name was Susan Rice Ragan and I had not known her name before. By finding her, I found the names of her other children and parts of their stories. I blogged some of these findings in this years A-Z Challenge and I plan to share more during the coming year.

I also published several posts about my grandmother’s brother, George Reed, sharing his Will. probate records and letters relating to the case which showed the strained relationships between various family members.

There are so many connections and so many stories waiting to be found and shared that I don’t even suspect today! Here is a link to my very first blog post 9 years ago. Who Was Eliza?

40 thoughts on “Nine Years of Blogging

  1. HONORED to wish “Finding Eliza” a HapPy 9th Blogiversary” Today!

    You have been a “TRUE” Sister Blog to me over these years. All your Support – Encouragement and Love with Discussions, deep Research and thought provoking PIECES have been my companion. You can’t PAY for this kind of Mentorship & Sisterhood.

    Thanks for all the Encouragement and Fruit you have provided to me over the Years!

    So with that, HappY Blogiversary” my Sista Kristin!
    I Adore you! & Sending much Love! Continued Blessings!
    Love – True 🎂

  2. Thank you for all that you do to bring these stories to life! You are amazing 😍

  3. Oh that’s such a great milestone for your blogging! And I’ve only been following you for a few years, but have enjoyed each of your series of well documented stories of your ancestors. It gives me hope that more documents might still be found for some of my ancestors who stayed away from being on paper apparently.

  4. Congratulations, Kristin, and thanks for sharing all your great stories and beautiful photos!

    Just now I was over at Sepia Saturday checking if the links on my earliest contributions back in 2010 still worked. They do, but sadly many other blogger’s links are now dead or go to websites that are no longer active. Clicking on a random sampling of my old blogger friends fortuitously brought me here.

    I started my blog in 2009 but it wasn’t until I joined the Sepia Sat. community in January 2010 that I began to see what this new medium of internet journals could do. I believe we bloggers helped create a new way to tell stories with images, sound, video, and words that didn’t exist before the age of the internet. I look forward to enjoying your story telling for many years more.

    1. I’m glad you happened to be checking links. Sepia Saturday made me explore areas I wouldn’t have thought of other wise. And I agree about the new form of journal we created.

  5. Congratulations 🙂 You have told so many fascinating stories and compiled previously untold histories through your painstaking work. I am excited that you still have so much more research to do and history to uncover and share.

    Best wishes from Anne

  6. I’ve been doing the scripts for the Cem Tour since 2004 and this year’s Abram and Amanda Cleag story was, by far, the one I’ve enjoyed working on the most. That pension file was like finding gold. We got to hear Amanda speak, or as close as it gets, anyway. Your blog opened the door to their story. I still think Abram and Amanda wanted us to find it.

  7. Congrars! 9 years of hard work. Your blog is a genealogical treasure, especially to those related to you. I’m always looking for a family link somewhere since you put so much research. Looking forward to reading more of your posts in the years to come, God willing. Take care, T

  8. Happy Blogiversary! I have always enjoyed your blog. So very much history as well as personal stories and creative ways of telling those stories. I have learned from you and look forward to whatever it is you find in the coming year.

  9. Congratulations! I really enjoy the historical perspective, content & quality of your blog. My blog on my Wilkinson County Mississippi family research will be starting in a few weeks and I can only hope it will hold up to tradition you have set.

  10. 9 years! Congratulations! I’ve only recently found your blog, but I’m always fascinated with the documents you share. You have a great thing going here.

  11. Happy blogiversary! I remember when I found you! Your future generations will be so grateful for the history you are lovingly curating.

  12. Happy Blogiversary! You’ve been blogging a little longer than me. I started about 8 1/2 years ago. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you via our blogs.

  13. Just catching up with blog posts after our state family history conference and I just had to stop by to say Happy Blogiversary. Keep up the great stories.

  14. Congratulations! I am now in my tenth year of blogging. I don’t know how you feel about your duration as a blogger, but I’m kind of amazed that I’ve stuck with it so long. I guess that’s partly a function of being retired and not having to go to an outside job every day.

    May you have many years of blogging ahead of you!

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Yes, not having to go out to a job, or work at home or cook three meals a day or take care of babies and children, that is what made it possible for me to devote so much time to both the blog and the research.

      I never thought about how long I would do this. I just keep finding things and writing about them. I hope I have many years ahead too! They are piling up, those years.

  15. Hi Kristin! Congratulations on this milestone, and thank you for sharing these great stories! I am making a documentary about the 1974 Supreme Court case Milliken v. Bradley, which dealt with busing in Detroit to integrate public schools. I know Reverend Albert Cleage was involved in this debate, and I noticed from one of your previous posts that you were involved in some of the school protests. I would love to speak to you about Reverend Cleage and your experiences. Feel free to email me any time. Thank you!

    1. I graduated from high school in 1964. I always attended local schools that were in walking distance. I was never bussed. The post about the one day boycott is about all I have to say on the topic. By 1974 I was married, with two children and living in Atlanta.

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